16
Dec
07

God vs. Science

A science professor begins his school year with a lecture to the students, “Let me explain the problem science has with religion.” The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.“You’re a Christian, aren’t you, son?”

“Yes sir,” the student says.

“So you believe in God?”

“Absolutely.”

“Is God good?”

“Sure! God’s good.”

“Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?”

“Yes.”

“Are you good or evil?”

“The Bible says I’m evil.”

The professor grins knowingly. “Aha! The Bible!” He considers for a moment. “Here’s one for you. Let’s say there’s a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?”

“Yes sir, I would.”

“So you’re good…!”

“I wouldn’t say that.”

“But why not say that? You’d help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn’t.”

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. “He doesn’t, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?”

The student remains silent.

“No, you can’t, can you?” the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

“Let’s start again, young fella. Is God good?”

“Er…yes,” the student says.

“Is Satan good?”

The student doesn’t hesitate on this one. “No.”

“Then where does Satan come from?”

The student falters. “From God”

“That’s right. God made Satan, didn’t he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Evil’s everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything, correct?”

“Yes.”

“So who created evil?” The professor continued, “If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.”

Again, the student has no answer. “Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?”

The student squirms on his feet. “Yes.”

“So who created them?”

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. “Who created them?” There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. “Tell me,” he continues onto another student. “Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?”

The student’s voice betrays him and cracks. “Yes, professor, I do.”

The old man stops pacing. “Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?”

“No sir. I’ve never seen Him.”

“Then tell us if you’ve ever heard your Jesus?”

“No, sir, I have not.”

“Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?”

“No, sir, I’m afraid I haven’t.”

“Yet you still believe in him?”

“Yes.”

“According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?”

“Nothing,” the student replies. “I only have my faith.”

“Yes, faith,” the professor repeats. “And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.”

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His own. “Professor, is there such thing as heat?”

“Yes,” the professor replies. “There’s heat.”

“And is there such a thing as cold?”

“Yes, son, there’s cold too.”

“No sir, there isn’t.”

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain. “You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don’t have anything called ‘cold’. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees.”

“Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.”

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

“What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?”

“Yes,” the professor replies without hesitation. “What is night if it isn’t darkness?”

“You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it’s called darkness, isn’t it? That’s the meaning we use to define the word.”

“In reality, darkness isn’t. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?”

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. “So what point are you making, young man?”

“Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.”

The professor’s face cannot hide his surprise this time. “Flawed? Can you explain how?”

“You are working on the premise of duality,” the student explains. “You argue that there is life and then there’s death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought.”

“It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.”

“Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?”

“If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.”

“Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?”

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

“Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?”

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.

“To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.”

The student looks around the room. “Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor’s brain?” The class breaks out into laughter.

“Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor’s brain, felt the professor’s brain, touched or smelt the professor’s brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.”

“So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?”

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable.

Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. “I guess you’ll have to take them on faith.”

“Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,” the student continues. “Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?”

Now uncertain, the professor responds, “Of course, there is. We see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.”

To this the student replied, “Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.”

The professor sat down.

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7 Responses to “God vs. Science”


  1. December 16, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    It is an ordinary and well known discussion on God, but I like it.

  2. 2 archaeologyknits
    December 16, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    It seems nice, but it misses the fact that God does some quite evil things to Job and then says to Job that he just can’t get it and he needs to shut up.
    Clearly not even the religious should believe this absence of god stuff.

  3. December 18, 2007 at 12:16 am

    I did not understand what exactly you pointed out, what or who is ‘Job’, for example. Could you explain a little bit more your idea? Your point looks worth to think about it. Thanks.

  4. December 18, 2007 at 1:17 am

    I think, there is something grievously missing in this conversation about God. The professor starts with disbelief and asks silly/shallow questions. The student makes some good effort to retort with some examples, but, I am afraid, is unconvincing. I think, there is a lot we need to think about to explore the real conception of God. The following Quranic verses are worth pondering:

    “If a happy thing befalleth them they say: This is from God; and if an evil thing befalleth them they say: This is of thy doing (O Muhammad). Say (unto them): All is from God. What is the matter with these people that they fail to understand a happening. Whatever of good befalleth thee (O man) is from God; and whatever of evil befalleth thee is from thyself.” [Nisa (4): 78-79]

    “Man hath only that for which he maketh effort” [Ta-Ha (20): 15; Najm (53): 39].

    “And any misfortune that befalleth you is because of your own deeds” [Shura (42): 30].

    “Verily God changeth not the condition of a people until they themselves change their own condition” [Ra’d (13): 11].

    “This is because God never changeth the grace (niamat) He hath bestowed on any people until they change their own selves (nafs), and because God is Hearer, Knower” [Anfal (8): 53].

    The upshot of these verses is that the power of everything, whether good and evil, comes from God; but it is our initiative that matters. God helps those who help themselves. God does not directly determine our affairs. He has given us free will [see: Kahf (18): 29; Insan or Dahr (76): 3]. It is up to us alone to shape our destiny by deciding where to go and what to do. God turns us whichever way we choose to turn [see: Nisa (4): 115]. He does not help anyone unless he or she deserves it by his or her own individual effort, or by a sustained combined effort of heredity and/or environment.

    We must conceive God as neutral, impartial. He cannot reward or punish anybody arbitrarily. At the same God is with us all the time. He helps us in all of our work. Only the fools fail to see or perceive this. And importantly, when we sincerely and devotedly seek God’s help, He does respond:

    “And your Lord sayeth: Call upon Me; I will respond to your (prayer); but verily those who are too proud to serve Me will enter Hell, disgraced” [Mumin (40): 60].

    “When my servants ask thee (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then surely I am nigh (to them); I answer the prayer of every suppliant when he crieth unto Me.” [Baqarah (2): 186]

    “Response, no doubt, is the test of the presence of a conscious self” (Muhammad Iqbal).

    God exists. And we benefit by believing in Him and seeking His grace and help. We should not thus take any credit for any good that comes to us. All praise be to God, since he represents the perfection or uniqueness of all good qualities. He is ONE, unique, unparalleled, deserving our praise and emulation. Thus it is good (niamat) that comes from God, while evil is our own making.

  5. December 18, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    Also look at the conversation between an atheist and the Prophet Abraham, as narrated in the Quran:

    “Think thee (O Muhammad) of him who had an argument with Abraham about his Lord, because God hath given him the kingdom; how, when Abraham said: My Lord is He Who giveth life and causeth death, he answered: I give life and cause death. Abraham said: Verily God causeth the sun to rise in the East, so do thou cause it to rise from the West. Thus was the disbeliever confounded. And God guideth not wrongdoing folk.” (2:258)

    Belief in God is necessary to be rightly guided. “Without imbibing the God idea man can never really be good. You may be a scientist but your inventions will be more destructive than constructive. […] Without God there is no nobility in any action, thing [Nuh (71): 13] or being.” (Panaullah Ahmad, Creator and Creation, Bangladesh Islamic Foundation, 1986, pp. 199-201). A person can afford to be of no or dubious character, of no conviction in any principles of conduct, or of no trustworthiness to others as well as to his own self, if he is an atheist, for he considers himself as accountable to none and does not have to care for any good or godly values in life. Those who have faith in moral or godly values or principles, but do not expressly believe in God, they are so to say half-believers in God. They need to be full believers to rise anywhere near to the status of God’s most loved servants who are prophets or saints.

  6. December 18, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    Indeed there are many points missing in this argument:

    1- The atheist has a wrong belief that we know everything. We do not know everything yet, we even know so little about our own brain. Science can discover only 15% of the brain.

    “3:66. Behold! you are they who disputed about that of which you had knowledge; why then do you dispute about that of which you have no knowledge? And Allah knows while you do not know.”

    “24:19. Surely (as for) those who love that scandal should circulate respecting those who believe, they shall have a grievous chastisement in this world and the hereafter; and Allah knows, while you do not know.”

    2- The atheist is looking at the events, life and existence as a flat, two dimensional entity, and establishing his all understanding on this misconception. He is totally ignoring the facts behind the events and life, most of the time we miss, or have no idea what is going on.

    “2:216. …and it may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you, and it may be that you love a thing while it is evil for you, and Allah knows, while you do not know.”

    18:64-82 – https://pressthat.wordpress.com/2007/10/07/brief-explaination-and-examples-of-undesirable-from-quran/

    3- As a result of this misconception the atheist is also missing that everything is ONE. There is no seperation and duality such as bad and good. Everything is created for purpose to serve to a specific result as a cause by a high conscious.

    4- There are too much subjects and issues going on in this discussion, every one of them need to be a subject of another deep discussion, like the beginning of the life.

    5- Student’s example on brain is a very weak argument because the atheist could say “Science has a lot of chance to see my brain and prove its existence with our senses with MRI, electroencephalography, some other screens, etc. The student could mention the ‘thoughts’ and ‘ideas’, where are they coming from? Yes, they are coming from our brain, but where the brain is getting all those ideas and thoughts?

    6- I agree with you Dharmadarak that the professor is starting to ask wrong questions, like “even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good?” since the answer is so easy: Jesus does not have such power to heal anyone. If the patient would have prayed to God and died without being healed, than we could ask the similar question: “Why did God allow him die with heavy pains in a young age? Is God bad?” Of course, this question would still be so shallow, since there is no duality such as bad and good I mentioned.

    “16:74. Therefore do not give likenesses to Allah; surely Allah knows and you do not know.”

    7- I do not agree with you that good from Allah and bad from us. We still produce the bad or good by ourselves because of our free will. But, they are neither good or bad, we are just in a learning progress and under examination, that is all. All we have to do is to try our best as much as possible. Yes, we are under Allah’s close -even closer us than ourselves- supervision and attendance, but depends on how much we want and how much we allow.

    “6:129. And thus do We make some of the iniquitous to befriend others on account of what they earned.”

    18:64-87

  7. 7 mousam kashyap
    August 31, 2008 at 4:36 am

    it is an interisting discussion.the creation.the life,the death,all these seems to b supernatural,there is something up there watchin us,but yet than no religion can prove god,not a hindu,a muslim,a christian.religions are made,as different ways to pray to god who created us,the world the universe.


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